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In Corail-Cesselesse, houses would be built for 300,000 people — transitional shelters at first, but each with a permanent facade and capable of expanding to six rooms. There will be jobs and services that most of the rest of the city now lacks.

This northern expansion will help transform Port-au-Prince into a “Zen city,” engineered to be balanced and serene, he said. It will be the key industrial city of the Caribbean.

“The idea is to pick up all that imagination and wealth and put it in that mountain,” Ms. Voltaire said with a smile. “It’s minutes to the port. It’s going to be a hit.”

But with a barely functioning government, Corail-Cesselesse may be built according to backroom deals, not planners’ blueprints.

The government had appointed Gerard-Emile “Aby” Brun, president of Nabatec Development, a consortium owned by some of Haiti’s most powerful families, to be in charge of relocating the squatter camps in Port-au-Prince.

For that first relocation camp for 5,000 people, with clinics, food on premises and some electricity, he chose a piece of Corail-Cesselesse land owned by Nabatec, Ms. Voltaire and Mr. Bellerive both confirmed. The company now stands first in line to gain part of $7 million the government will spend compensating landowners.

That’s just a small part of the potential payoff.

Nabatec is also a lead negotiator with South Korean garment firms to build factories that Haitian officials say likely will go into Corail-Cesselesse. The camp he set up is a potential source of workers for those factories, which can take advantage of generous U.S. import laws for Haitian-assembled textiles.

Foreign aid workers complained that the camp was too far from the city and went up without basic amenities. “We weren’t very happy about the choice of site and how it was selected, and how it was isolated,” said Oxfam spokeswoman Julie Schindall.

Mr. Bellerive said he told Mr. Brun to quit his government position because of the apparent conflict of interest. But the deal Mr. Brun negotiated for his company stands.